Mental health days are defined as “A day an employee or student takes off to relieve stress or renew vitality.” They can help you regain your focus and deal with the problems every student goes through. No person, no matter how physically healthy, has perfect mental health; it’s just not possible. And teachers, parents, and peers shouldn’t expect students to be finely tuned machines with no issues whatsoever.
Teen suicide is at the highest rate it’s been in forty years, and America Health Rankings states that so far, in 2019, 10.9 percent of teen deaths were suicides. I know that may not seem like a lot but compared to years ago, it is. Many families and schools prioritize grades over their students’ mental health, but if you are having an anxiety attack or in the dark cloud known as depression, can you really focus and learn? You should be allowed the occasional day to take a break, relax, and relieve your stress. Stay home, eat some pop tarts and ramen, and don’t have a care in the world at least for one day. Catch up on your school work later.
Mental health is generally overlooked in our communities. The reason why is because it’s not directly visible. For example, if you see a person with a broken arm, you can obviously tell he has a broken arm, but what about someone with a broken heart? It is taboo to admit that there is something wrong and that you need help. But if the world doesn’t talk about it, why should you?
Oregon recently passed a law saying that students will be allowed five excused absences a semester for mental health. Matty Fasano, an Oregon teacher says, “if you have a physical disability people can see it, and it’s very obvious and out there. I think with mental illness it manifests itself in very different ways.” He also told a local newspaper how elated he was that his students would be getting the rest they deserve. This bill is definitely a step in the right direction.
You deserve a break. You wake up early in the morning, go to school, look great everyday. You try to keep your grades up, and you live life. So pat yourself on the back and take a break.
Kasidee Law grew up in Manteca, California, and in Fremont. This is her second year at the Hatchet and she is the Opinions Editor. Her goal is to bring different types of opinions to light and open dialogues. Her future plans are going to community college and then transferring to a four year to get her degree in early childhood education.